Category Archives: Penn Spectrum

Penn Serves LA Assists with L.A. Works Pop Up Day of Service Focused on Family and Youth Homelessness (August 2017)

by Michal Clements, W’84

9.8.17 photo 1

On a hot Saturday morning, fourteen Penn Serves LA volunteers turned out bright and early to assist with L.A. Works Pop Up Day of Service in Griffith Park.  L.A. Works  mission is “to empower Angelenos to address pressing social issues through volunteerism and community collaboration.”  While L.A. Works  (http://www.laworks.com) offers a variety of hands-on community service projects intended to benefit different groups, the focus of this particular day was the important issue of family and youth homelessness.   In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s report to Congress found that LA had the most chronically homeless people in the nation (13,000) and the most homeless veterans (2,800) and unaccompanied homeless youth (more than 3,000).

9.8.17 photo 2

9.8.17 photo 3

After a brief overview from L.A. Works leaders, Penn Serves volunteers swung into action, with each Penn Serves volunteer assigned to a specific cohort (e.g., 4B) of fifteen to twenty-five other volunteers.   We led our assigned cohort to work stations in tents and then joined them in participating in the hands-on activities.  Activities included making sandwiches, making quilts for the homeless, assembling toiletry/self-care kits that included handmade origami with encouraging notes, and more.  After about twenty to thirty minutes for a given experience, the Penn Serves volunteer led the cohort to their next assignment.

9.8.17 photo 4

We also had the opportunity to learn from experts about the many initiatives underway to address L.A.’s Homeless at the Advocacy tents.  We heard personal histories from members of the stories of Skid Row community.  One woman mentioned that Skid Row is dramatically under represented for toilets (perhaps six hundred to one) and that there is an opportunity to address this basic, perhaps with temporary structures. We also heard from Meg Barclay, City of Los Angeles Homeless Coordinator about LA’s Prop HHH efforts to build and encourage the creation of 10,000 permanent housing units for the chronically homeless.

This was the last in the Penn Serves LA 2016-2017 year programming.  Looking back over the year, it’s satisfying to reflect on the many different opportunities we had to serve this year and to consider the impact we have made.   In addition to L.A. Works, our Penn Serves LA activities included feeding the hungry and reducing food waste with L.A. Kitchen, staffing ICEF’s first literacy festival, crocheting with Blankets of Love, building a home with Habitat LA, painting with Portraits of Hope, harvesting fruit with Food Forward.    It’s worth noting that the deliberate choice of the Penn Serves LA board is for the group to serve multiple not for profits, in different geographies, with different focuses, rather than to repeat or to concentrate on a particular organization.  This is because Penn alumni are attracted to different service opportunities, live in geographically diverse parts of LA, and this allows them to see if they are attracted to any particular one on an going basis.

I look forward to another great year in 2017-2018!

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Penn Serves LA, Penn Spectrum

Penn Spectrum 2013 Review in Photos

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

Penn Spectrum 2013 was incredible. Amazing panels, delicious food, and a killer dance party. Here are some photos from the weekend.

Reliving one of my favorite days of undergrad at Performing Arts Night. Penn Lions pictured here. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theatre.

Reliving one of my favorite days of undergrad at Performing Arts Night. Penn Lions pictured here. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theatre.

Welcome Remarks by Penn President Amy Gutmann, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theatre.

Welcome Remarks by Penn President Amy Gutmann, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theatre.

eer Paths: Embracing the Unexpected, Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall. Panelists included Kristin Haskins-Simms, C'93, Principal Designer at Krysi (formerly Strangefruit), Contestant on Season 8 of Project Runway; Franklin Shen, ENG’03, Co-Owner of Sugar Philly Dessert Truck and Catering and Derek Murphy, WG'89 Executive Vice President and General Manager USA TODAY Moderator: Pat Rose, G'75, Director of Penn Career Services.

eer Paths: Embracing the Unexpected, Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall. Panelists included Kristin Haskins-Simms, C’93, Principal Designer at Krysi (formerly Strangefruit), Contestant on Season 8 of Project Runway; Franklin Shen, ENG’03, Co-Owner of Sugar Philly Dessert Truck and Catering and Derek Murphy, WG’89 Executive Vice President and General Manager USA TODAY Moderator: Pat Rose, G’75, Director of Penn Career Services.

outside_ps

Reliving one of my favorite days of undergrad at Performing Arts Night. Penn Lions pictured here. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theatre.

Reliving one of my favorite days of undergrad at Performing Arts Night. Penn Lions pictured here. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theatre.

Penn P cupcakes at the Dance Party.

Penn P cupcakes at the Dance Party.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life, Events, Multicultural Outreach, Penn Spectrum, Stephanie Y.

Spectral Analysis

Author: Patrick Bredehoft

“The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.” —W. Somerset Maugham

This past weekend highlighted some great examples of the astonishing variety of communities and opportunities to be found on Penn’s campus. With the second Penn Spectrum conference to be held in Philadelphia, we welcomed multiple generations of diverse alumni back to campus for a weekend of impassioned discussions and warm reunions.  Whether the alumni were sharing academic research, personal anecdotes, or salsa moves, the spirit of collaboration was palpable.

Penn Weekend 1 (2)

On Saturday afternoon, College Green was also abuzz with students celebrating Skimmerfest, a campus-wide party that includes great musical acts, food trucks, a 40-foot climbing wall, and a giant inflatable football player (perhaps an omen for the game to come?).  Students flooded the center of campus, enjoying the perfect weather and time spent with one another.

Just a few blocks away, a makeshift city was being assembled on Hill Field, with the following invitation to the campus community:

 What is the best way to teach students about what it’s like to live in informal settlements – which will be home to over half of the world’s population within the next two decades? Create an opportunity for them to build and inhabit a makeshift ‘city’ using cardboard and other simple materials right in the University of Pennsylvania’s backyard.  On Friday, Sept. 20th  and Saturday, Sept. 21st, students from the School of Design will re-create the best conditions possible of a hypothetical informal settlement – the fastest growing type of habitation in the world.

Penn Weekend 2 (2)

Alumni reuniting, students celebrating, and global realities made into local experience: just your typical weekend, Penn!

Leave a comment

Filed under Campus Life, Multicultural Outreach, Patrick B., Penn Spectrum

My Top Penn List: Penn Spectrum 2013

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

While advanced registration for Penn Spectrum 2013 is closed; walk-on registration is available Friday and Saturday. This conference is gearing up to be phenomenal.

The educational pieces highlight topics that focus on issues pertinent to our multicultural groups and are given a Penn spin with alumni thought-leaders. The social get-togethers encourage camaraderie. Finally, Penn is always beautiful in the early fall and Penn Park is bustling with activity.

Here are the top ten events that I’m looking forward to this weekend.

10.   Guided Tour of Penn Park by University Architect David Hollenberg.
Friday, September 20, 1:30pm
Meet at Weightman Hall, 235 South 33rd Street (between Locust and Spruce, near Franklin Field)

See the University’s beautiful new green space featuring environmentally-conscious recreational and athletic areas on the eastern edge of campus. Learn about the Park’s unique design, and hear from Mike Diorka (Associate Athletic Director, Facility Management) about how people are putting the new space to use.

9.   Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster
Sunday, September 22, 12noon
Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South Street, Trescher Entrance

Browse this collection of 33 posters aimed at mobilizing African-Americans in war efforts, even as they faced oppression and injustice in their homelands.

8.   Post-racial Leadership at Penn and Beyond
Friday, September 20, 4:30-6pm
Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

Join the James Brister Society (JBS) for a panel discussion featuring members who have demonstrated leadership at the University and in their careers. Followed by networking with the panelists and your fellow attendees.
Moderator: Leslie Kruhly, University Vice President and Secretary. Panelists include Gil Casellas, L’77, University Trustee, JBS Co-Chair, Chairman of OMNITRU, former Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Claire Lomax, Esq., C’84, University Trustee, Member-School of Social Policy & Practice Board of Overseers, General Counsel-The Lomax Companies; John Chou, Esq., L’84, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at AmerisourceBergen Corporation; Farah Jimenez, Esq. C’90, L’96, JBS Member, President and CEO of People’s Emergency Center.

7.   Harvest Ceremony and Tour of Penn’s New Lenape Garden
Also at Saturday, September 21, 5-6:30pm
Greenfield Intercultural Center, 3708 Chestnut Street

Celebrate with us at the home of the beautiful, tortoise-shaped Lenape Garden. It was created to educate the community about the Lenape who first called the Delaware Valley home. Also featuring the art of Jack “Crying Raven” Anderson from the Ramapough Lunaape Nation who works with acrylic, oils, watercolor, and collage. His art reflects his transitional life, strong family values, but also rebellion against education, conformity and strict social mores. It also reflects who he has become after going through a healing process and developing new respect for family values, spiritualism, society, art and music.

6.   Look Who’s Famous Now! Increasing Asian American Presence in Media and Entertainment
Saturday, September 21, 3:30-5pm
Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

Discover the challenges that Asian Americans have historically faced in these industries and how we addressing these challenges today. Learn how access to digital technology has affected Asian and Pacific Islander representation, both onscreen and behind the scenes. Featuring Brian Redondo, C’05, Digital Project Manager at the Ad Council, Jessica Park, W’06, Director, Office of the CEO at Warner Music Group and Bing Chen, C’09, Global Creator Development & Management Lead at YouTube.

5.   LGBT Community at Penn: Past, Present & Future
Saturday, September 21, 5-6:30pm
LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce Street

Join in the conversation about the LGBT community at Penn and how it has evolved over the last several decades, including the development of the LGBT Center itself and how Penn’s LGBT Center is a model among its peers at other institutions. We’ll conclude with a dialogue about the challenges that lie ahead and the vision for the Center and our community in the years to come. With Bob Schoenberg, GSW ’89; Director, Penn LGBT Center; Erin G. Cross, G ’10; Associate Director, Penn LGBT Center; Carolyn DeChants, SP2 ’13, and Andres Castro Samayoa, GSE ’17.

4.   Traditional Native American Grand Entry and Official Welcome
Friday, September 20, 7pm
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Harold Prince Theater, 3680 Walnut Street

University administrators offer a formal welcome after our Penn Spectrum Grand Entry, featuring drums and dance based on the opening ceremony of a Powwow. As part of this tradition, any military veterans present will be honored by the other attendees and event will be emceed by Talon Ducheneaux, C’15

3.   Black Alumni Reunion Dinner and Keynote Speaker
Saturday, September 21, 7:30-9pm
Hall of Flags, Houston Hall

This Reunion Dinner program includes greetings and remarks from the Black Alumni Society (BAS) and Makuu Black Cultural Center as well as Keynote Speaker, Marc Morial, C’80, President and CEO of the National Urban League, former Mayor of New Orleans.

2.   Questions vs. Solutions: The Immigration Discussion Continues
Saturday, September 21, 3:30-5pm
Colloquium Room, 8th Floor, Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut Street

Why should community members support efforts to improve the integration and inclusion of those new to the U.S., as well as others facing language and cultural barriers, into the social and economic fabric of a city? Featuring a conversation with Jennifer I. Rodríguez, GCP’01, Executive Director, Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs. Hosted by Nicolas Rodriquez, C’04, Conference Co-Chair, Board member of the Association of Latino Alumni.

1.   Penn Spectrum Dance Party (21+ Only)
Saturday, September 21, 9pm-1am, Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

In the tradition of Taste of Penn Spectrum from Homecoming and Alumni Weekend, dance the night away to R&B, salsa, Bhangra, hip hop, merengue, reggaeton, soca, and more to end the Saturday’s activities on a high note.

I know that our Penn Alumni Relation staff will be working hard to make this a fantastic event for our Multicultural Outreach teammates and our diverse alumni alike.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Casey R., Multicultural Outreach, Penn Spectrum, Top Ten

Two Weekends Full of Penn

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

My next two weekends will be full of Penn. First up is Penn Spectrum on September 20-22, 2013.

pennspectrumbutton

Penn Spectrum is the University’s weekend-long alumni conference devoted entirely to celebrating diversity. Though any interested alumni may attend, Penn Spectrum will focus on programs of interest to Asian, Black, Latino, Native American, and LGBT communities, the populations served by the existing volunteer coalition of the Penn Alumni Diversity Alliance. Penn Spectrum is only every 3 years (the first was in 2010), so you definitely don’t want to miss out. The next one won’t be until 2016!

I am most looking forward to the academic panels and breakout sessions. As Programming Chair of Penn Spectrum, I made sure to populate the panels with only the most impressive and amazing Penn faculty and alumni. My job wasn’t hard since there are SO MANY incredible Penn faculty and alumni to choose from. A few of my favorites…

My friend Terra L. Gearhart-Serna, JD, C’07, will be on the Legal Matters panel. Terra and I have been friends since my freshman year. I can’t wait to hear her speak about her pro bono work on immigration and women’s rights. I am also excited about hearing from Kristin Haskins-Simms, C’93, Principal Designer at Krysi (formerly Strangefruit), on the Career Paths panel. Kristin was a contestant on Season 8 of Project Runway – I remember watching her on tv! I heard Kristin speak at a Multicultural Outreach Career Spotlight in 2010, and she was fantastic. The keynote speaker for the Asian/Pacific Islander Alumni Reunion seated dinner is Dr. Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., G’03, GR’06, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. Duckworth’s research on grit is fascinating, and I can’t wait to hear her speak live for the first time. There’s something for everyone at Penn Spectrum 2013. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Don’t miss out! Click here to see the full schedule.

The weekend after Penn Spectrum, I will be attending the Penn Reunion Leadership Conference (PRLC) on September 27-28, 2013. logo
PRLC is designed to help alumni volunteers prepare for their upcoming class reunion. The conference covers everything from how to get the word out about your reunion to event planning to how to raise funds for your class reunion gift. If your class reunion is coming up in May 2014, come to PRLC to start planning the big celebration! I attended PRLC last year to start planning my 5th reunion. It was a great place to reconnect with classmates and to start building our reunion committee. This year, I will be attending PRLC as a member of the Alumni Class Leadership Council (ACLC). The ACLC is the governing and advisory board for alumni classes and the host of PRLC. We are a council of volunteer alumni leaders from classes across eight decades – that’s right, EIGHT DECADES! PRLC is a must attend for anyone interested in reunion planning. You will learn a lot, and you will have a lot of fun. Don’t miss out!

So there it is. My next two weekends will be spent at Penn, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Penn Spectrum, Stephanie Y.

Save the Date for Penn Spectrum, Sept. 20-22, 2013

Author: Lillian Gardiner, GEd’11

From September 20-22,  2013, Penn  will host Penn Spectrum, the University’s second weekend-long alumni conference devoted entirely to celebrating diversity. Through this conference, sponsored by the Office of the President and Penn Alumni Relations, Penn seeks to engage diverse undergraduate and graduate alumni from all walks of life, and to provide a new opportunity for them to reconnect with one another and their alma mater in a meaningful way.

Though any interested alumni may attend, Penn Spectrum will focus on programs of interest to Asian, Black, Latino, Native American, and LGBT communities, the populations served by the existing volunteer coalition of the Penn Alumni Diversity Alliance. This has made Penn the first among its peers to bring together alumni of color and LGBT alumni at one conference to affirm not only individual group affinity and identity, but also cross-cultural collaboration and understanding.

Registration for the conference will open next week. You can find that and more on the Penn Spectrum website.

Stay tuned for more details and specifics to follow.

PS1

PS2

PS3

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Lillian G., Multicultural Outreach, Penn Spectrum